1. Make your own classic two-color quilt (+ giveaway!)

    Posted by on December 6, 2019, in quilting & sewing, , ,

    Prepare to be WOWed by Blue & White Quilts! This book hosts a stunning collection of two-color quilts from top-notch designers and dedicated collectors. In this follow-up to Red & White Quilts, you’ll get instructions to re-create three vintage quilts and stitch 10 original designs. The projects represent a range of quilt styles, techniques, skill levels, and even eras. No matter if you’re looking for a project to commemorate a special happening such as a 45th (sapphire) anniversary, a baby’s arrival, or another special event, you’re sure to find plenty of designs that you’ll want to make into your very own classics.

    If you’re planning to go to the Road to California quilt show, you’ll have the opportunity to see many of the quilts from Blue & White Quilts in the special exhibit section. But if you can’t make it to the show, keep scrolling—we’re excited to share a sneak peek of all of the quilts featured in the book. After you’ve admired them, read on to learn about an exciting book AND fabric giveaway.


    Country Surprise by Nancy Mahoney


    Baskets in Blue from the collection of Julie Hendricksen


    Cornered by Jill Shaulis


    To the Nines by Camille Roskelley

    Antique Hunter’s Star from the collection of Jennifer Keltner


    Tree of Life by Paula Barnes and Mary Ellen Robison


    Bliss by Debbie Roberts


    Sapphire Star by Lisa Bongean


    Timeless by Sherri McConnell


    Singing the Blues by Helen Stubbings


    Antique Album from the collection of Jennifer Keltner


    Midnight Sky by Laurie Simpson


    Blueberry Crumb Cake by Lissa Alexander

    Now for the book and fabric giveaway details! We’re giving away a copy of Blue & White Quilts AND a big, fresh fat-quarter bundle of Indigo Gatherings by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings. (We’d like to extend a big thank-you to our friends and industry partners at Moda Fabrics for sending the bundle!)

    For a chance to win the fabric bundle AND a copy of Blue & White Quilts, tell us in the comments:

    Which blue-and-white quilt do you dream of making first?

    We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win.

    Are you officially inspired to make your own blue-and-white quilt? Purchase a copy of Blue & White Quilts from our website and you’ll be able to instantly download the eBook for free!

    1,091 comments (read all)

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  2. New Instant-Gratification Embroidery from Kathy Schmitz (+ giveaway)

    Posted by on December 5, 2019, in quilting & sewing, , ,












    It’s December, when it’s oh so (ho-ho-ho) easy to get swept up in the busyness of the season. Happily for all of us bustling elves, Kathy Schmitz is here to deliver the gift of soothing handwork via a brand-new collection of embroidery projects.

    As full of delights as Santa’s sleigh, Picture Perfect: Small Stitcheries and Embroidered Niceties is packed with small, quick-to-finish embroidery projects plus nine gorgeous watercolor mats to use for framing.

    Transport yourself to a budding landscape through 16 different nature-themed patterns, such as redwork houses, bluework birds, and sweet garden vignettes. Each embroidery is a petite 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″, meaning it’s quick work to finish any of them. Stitch just a single design or pile up a stack to display as a group. Kathy gives instructions for turning your wee embroideries into small bowl fillers or sachets, little decorative pillows, charming notecards, and framed artwork.

    To make a notecard, fray the edges of your embroidery background fabric and then glue it to the front of a blank card. So simple!


    Hang a sachet on your dresser knob for a fresh scent.


    Choose five of your favorite designs to showcase in a pillow.

    The neatest part of all? Kathy included beautiful decorative mats IN THE BOOK and they can be used to frame your finished embroideries. Picture Perfect includes three colorful versions (red, green, and blue) of each mat design, for nine mats total. Each mat’s design is a reproduction of an original watercolor by Kathy. No expensive trip to the copy shop required. Just clip out the mat and frame!



    Pro tip: When Kathy frames her embroidery, she first fuses the finished stitchery onto a rectangle of pinked wool to create a narrow inner border. It’s super quick and simple, but that little peek of wool looks beautifully polished. And when you surround the entire piece with one of the included watercolor mats, the result is simply stunning.


    Gorgeous decorative mats are exciting enough, but Kathy didn’t stop there. In the middle of each mat she includes a different garden-themed quotation. Frame the decorative quotations as is, use them as mats to enhance your embroideries, or mix and match to create exactly the number of framed pieces to suit your space.

    We’re so excited to share Kathy’s beautiful embroideries and luscious watercolor mats with you. Enjoy pleasant stitching—and easy and economical framing!

    In fact, we’re so excited to show off this beautiful book that we have one copy to give away today!  To enter to win a copy of Picture Perfect, tell us in the comments.

    How would you display your Picture Perfect embroideries?

     We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. If you’re eager to start embroidering designs from Picture Perfect, you can purchase the book at our website and we’ll send you a link to download the eBook version for free.


    313 comments (read all)

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  3. New Book Release: Machine-Quilting Idea Book












    Whether you’re a machine-quilting aficionado or a machine quilting-wannabe, Vicki Ruebel’s new Machine-Quilting Idea Book is for you!

    So many quilters love to piece traditional quilt blocks (myself included), yet so many machine-quilting books focus on quilting wholecloth solid fabrics so that the quilting designs show off really well. But that always leaves me wondering, how do you show off patchwork blocks with machine quilting? What’s the best way to quilt blocks without covering them up or just quilting in the ditch? (As you can see, I have so many questions myself and I bet you can relate!)

    Well, Vicki Ruebel of Orchid Owl Quilts is here to show us how! She’s selected a dozen classic patchwork blocks, from Nine Patches and Churn Dashes to Friendship Stars and Ohio Stars. Then she shows us not one or even two ways to machine quilt these blocks. Nope. She gives us four to six ways to quilt each one!


    Each motif is designed to show off the patchwork rather than cover it up. And each quilting design is rated with one, two, or three spools, indicating if it is easy, intermediate, or more challenging. So if you’re like me, you can start with the easy ones and move on to other designs as you become more confident in your machine quilting skills.

    In my years as being both a quilt-book editor and most recently as content director at Martingale, I’ve read and used many machine-quilting books. And I’ve learned so many things from each of them. But this is the first time I’ve had a book that focuses specifically on how to quilt patchwork. I know what I’m going to be practicing over Christmas vacation! How about you?!

    Actually, I couldn’t wait until Christmas to get started. Here’s a photo of my very first block quilted with a design from Vicki’s book. It has a few bobbles, but this is literally the first time I’ve done free-motion quilting in several years. I’m sure that with a bit more practice my stitching lines will be smoother. On to the next design!

    To make using the Machine-Quilting Idea Book even more fun, Vicki will be hosting a quilt along (QAL) on social media beginning in February. So get your book now, mark your calendar, and be prepared to ramp up your skills with the rest of us as we dive into 61 different designs for quilting patchwork blocks.

    For a chance to win a copy of the Machine-Quilting Idea Book by Vicki Ruebel, answer the following question in the comments below.

     What’s your current machine-quilting level?

    1 spool: I’m a newbie who’s excited to learn!

    2 spools: I’ve stitched my way around a quilt or two, but I’m ready to boost my skills.

    3 spools: I’m pretty proficient at free-motion quilting but am excited to learn new block motifs.

    We’ll choose a winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck! And if you can’t to start stitching, you can purchase the book at our website.



    267 comments (read all)

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  4. NEW! Folk-Art Fun, scraps, and vintage finds (+giveaway!)


    Welcome to Wish List Day at Stitch This! We’re SEW excited to introduce you to new Martingale books coming your way in January—the 30-day countdown begins now! Keep track of your favorites by using the “Notify Me” and “Wish List” options at ShopMartingale.com. Browse the latest batch of Martingale books below; then enter to win your favorite book of the month at the end of this post!

    Subscribe to our blog and you’ll always be first to see new Martingale books, plus special sales, freebies, tutorials, and more.


    Sunny Days

    A Summertime Quilt Full of Folk-Art Fun

    Jan Patek

    Celebrate summer with a sampler quilt chock-full of the season’s charms! Make 14 cute block designs featuring trees and houses, a chicken and flowers, birds and vines, baskets, bee skeps, and more. At queen size, this fanciful folk-art quilt can be showcased anywhere–on a wall, over a couch, or on a summer bed.

    Use Jan’s needle-turn technique, or any favorite appliqué method, to make the blocks. For quick coordinating projects, turn single blocks into pillows, wall quilts, table toppers, and more. Full-sized patterns included.


    See more from Sunny Days >>>

    Sisterhood of Scraps

    12 Brilliant Quilts from 7 Fantastic Designers

    Lissa Alexander

    What happens when famed quilt designer Lissa Alexander invites her quilting friends to create scrap quilts alongside her? Scrapalicious magic! Lissa reached out to six quilters–Susan Ache, Kim Brackett, Barbara Brackman, Sheryl Johnson, Laurie Simpson, and Sandy Klop–whose quilt designs she’s long admired. The result? Spectacular scrap quilts from true masters of the craft, and an invitation for YOU to join the Sisterhood of Scraps!

    Choose from 12 quilts inspired by everything from simple Four Patches to Trip Around the World designs to Log Cabins and more. Start a quilting bee, build a community, and bring new sisters into the fold as you make these stunning projects. Inside you’ll find your Sisterhood of Scraps certificate–hang it in your sewing space to show that you’re a proud member of the Sisterhood of Scraps.


    See more from Sisterhood of Scraps >>>

    Treasure Hunt

    13 Quilts Inspired by Antique Finds

    Linda Collins and Leah Zieber

    The hunt is on! Follow a team of antique-quilt mavens as they share how their search for quilts from the past turned into present-day quilt patterns. With decades of knowledge about vintage textiles between them, the authors present:

    • Patterns for 13 stunning quilts, each inspired by an antique quilt from the authors’ personal collections
    • Tips for finding antique quilts, both in your hometown and online
    • Which quilts to snap up quickly–and which to walk away from
    • How to determine if the price is right

    Packed with photos of both newly made quilts (and the patterns to make them) plus images of the antique quilts that inspired them, the book shows this duo’s treasure hunting in action. Linda and Leah will inspire you to join the hunt!

    See more from Treasure Hunt >>>

    Which new book would make your January extra special? Tell us in the comments and you could win it when it’s released! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win.

    By the way . . . December’s new releases
    are available TODAY!




    318 comments (read all)

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  5. Sneak Peek! 24-hour Cyber Monday Sale! 20 best-selling books at 20% off!

    Posted by on November 29, 2019, in quilting & sewing

    Sneak Peek!!!!   Skip the car, skip the crowds, and enjoy a rare discount on 20 of our top-selling 2019 books!  ONE DAY ONLY!  The sale begins Monday, December 2 at 6 a.m. Pacific time and ends Tuesday, December 3, 6 a.m. Pacific time.

    Choose printed books or eBooks—the choice is yours!

    >>>Buy a print book, get a free eBook version with your purchase.

                            Buy an eBook, save even more!<<<






    Spend $40 or more and get FREE SHIPPING in the US.

    What will you create next?  Browse the books on sale to help you decide…but hurry, the sale ends Tuesday December 3 at 6 a.m. Pacific time!  Need more time to peruse?  Add books to your cart now, then set yourself a reminder to come back during the sale to check out. Sale prices will update automatically during that 24-hour window!

    No comments yet

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  6. Deep-dive into a beloved fabric from the past: Feed Sacks is here! (+ giveaway)

    Feed sacks are the perfect example of a utilitarian product turned into something beautiful. Author Linzee Kull McCray explores the history of the humble fabric in her beautiful book Feed Sacks. This is a reprint of a previously out-of-print book from our friends at UPPERCASE—now back in print by popular demand!

    Feed sacks range from plain cotton sacks to exuberantly patterned and colorful bags that were repurposed into frocks, aprons, and quilts by thrifty housewives in the first half of the twentieth century.

    In this softcover volume, extensive imagery and at-scale reproductions of these fabrics create an inspiring sourcebook of pattern and color—544 pages of images and information offer a welcome visit to the days of yesteryear. Take a look at the table of contents to see what’s in store!


    Patterns not included.

    We’re thrilled to introduce Linzee as our guest writer today:


    Linzee McCray here. I’m a writer, quilter, and fabric designer. I first learned about feed sacks 10 years ago, and not long after I wrote a blog post for Etsy, where I was a regular contributor. The post got more than 200 comments, and I realized that I wasn’t the only one interested in feed sacks.

    I did what writers do when they’re fascinated by a topic: I kept researching and writing about it for various publications, including UPPERCASE magazine. A few years later, UPPERCASE publisher Janine Vangool and I decided to collaborate on a book. (Janine is in Calgary, Canada, which accounts for the spelling of “colourful” in the book’s subtitle.)

    I interviewed people who had sewn with and worn feed sacks in decades past, and Janine and I identified vintage photos, newspapers, and advertisements for use in the book. We also worked with collectors and museums to gather images of items made with feed sacks and took photos of our own growing feed-sack collections, as well as those of other collectors. And then Janine worked her design magic: we had so much to share that the book wound up at 544 pages!

    Feed Sacks: The Colourful History of a Frugal Fabric covers topics from picking cotton to the patriotism of sewing with sacks during World War II to feed-sack sewing competitions in the 1950s. Throughout, there are interviews with people who remember feed sacks as a part of everyday life. Talking with them was my favorite part of writing this book, and I love the stories, quilts, and items of clothing that people still share with me. One friend told me about her 90-year-old grandmother poring over the pages, looking for fabric prints she remembered from childhood. (That takes awhile, as there are more than 850 images in the book!)

    I am delighted that Martingale is reprinting this book—it’s been out of print for more than a year. If you missed it the first time, I hope you’ll ask your local quilt shop or bookstore to order you a copy. And if you have stories to share, I always love hearing them!

    Here’s what quilters like you are saying about Feed Sacks:

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐“I love this book. It has a good history of the feed sack. There are pages and pages of them and also many photos of women and children wearing their feed-sack clothing. I make 1930s reproduction quilts as a hobby and this book makes me want all the fabric!”

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “This lovely book was so fun to read (and to look at). If you love coffee-table books or cultural history books, you’ll enjoy this sweet one. There are 850 different fabric patterns printed in the book, and I could just imagine all the clothes made by mothers in the 1930s and 1940s and beyond. There is information about all the companies that produced feed sacks—to hold grain and corn to voting ballots. Crazy to think that these were used ubiquitously in our past. I also loved all the advertisements printed throughout the book, which would highlight the products being sent out in the bags. There’s a lot to learn from this book, so pick it up and start reading!”

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “I’ve been a fabric person all my life. But I knew very little about the history of printed fabric used to package goods before reading this wonderful book, which is a compendium of feed sacks as a reflection of the culture of rural America in the first half of the 20th century. The book has dozens of clippings from newspapers, industry magazines, advertisements, and clothing patterns, which are fascinating windows into another time. The book is full of photos throughout, and the last section has hundreds of pictures of different fabrics. So this is a coffee-table book for those among us who cannot resist fabric. Do not miss this!”

    We have a copy of Feed Sacks to give away to one winner today! To enter your name in the random drawing, tell us in the comments, below:

    What’s your favorite reproduction fabric: feed sacks, Civil War, 1930s, something else?

    We’ll choose a winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck! And if you can’t wait for this deep-dive into a frugal fabric, you can purchase the book at our website

    Comments are closed for this post.


    Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The winner is Helen, who says: "I find all reproduction fabrics interesting, but I think the history surrounding the use of feed sack fabrics is particularly fascinating. The variety of fabric patterns is incredible."

    We’ll email you about your prize, Helen—congratulations!

    421 comments (read all)

  7. 🎁 10 no-sew gifts – for people who sew! 🎁

    If you’re on track with holiday sewing for your best quilting buddies, we raise our rotary cutters to you—congrats! But if you’re a bit behind schedule, we’ve rounded up several gift ideas for you. They’re 100% no-sew. But they’ll delight every quilting fan on your gift list.


    2020 That Patchwork Place® Quilt Calendar

    Now in its 18th year of publication, That Patchwork Place’s quilt calendar has become a favorite of quilters worldwide. Show off a love of quilting year-round and enjoy sewing along each month: the calendar spotlights 12 dazzling, front-page-worthy projects plus a 28-page pullout booklet that includes complete directions for making each project. Featured quilts (and a pillow!) come from designers including Lissa Alexander, Betsy Chutchian, Kim Diehl, Carol Hopkins, and Stacy West. Whether it graces the kitchen, office, or sewing room, this perennial favorite is perfect for ringing in a brand-new year with gorgeous quilts.

    Patches of Scraps Note Cards

    Write a note of thanks, encouragement, or a simple hello with this collection of striking note cards. Featuring lavish photos of antique and modern-day quilts from the book Patches of Scraps by famed quilt designer Edyta Sitar, a dozen cards (two each of six designs) come with envelopes and are blank inside, offering plenty of space to share sentiments.


    Creative Sketchbook and Journal

    Write, sketch, draw, and dream—world-renowned textile artist Sue Spargo will inspire you to do it all in this gorgeous journal. Among more than 150 close-up, color-drenched photos of Sue’s incredible stitcheries is a mix of lined pages, graphed pages, and blank pages that offer plenty of space to get in touch with your creative side. Use as a traditional journal, a sketchbook, a place for doodles, lists, and project ideas—or use it in all of these ways! Capture inspiration whenever it strikes; a petite take-along size makes it easy to do. Patterns not included.

    Simple Reflections: A Journal for Memories and Musings

    Kim Diehl will inspire your sewing friends to keep a journal just for their creative side! In Simple Reflections, Kim’s gathered photographs of favorite quilts and more to share. Among gorgeous photos of Kim’s work, there’s plenty of space to jot down sewing notes, log quilting milestones, and record inspiration wherever it may strike. Kim’s included seasonal recipes too! Your giftees can bring the beauty of quilts wherever they go—a handy take-along size makes it easy to do. (Patterns not included.)

    A Quilter’s Journal

    Photographed at quilting star Lisa Bongean’s gorgeous lakeside home, A Quilter’s Journal is an inspiring week-by-week journal packed with stunning photos of quilts and more to enjoy. Throughout the pages you’ll find fun prompts to answer all year long—they’ll get the creative juices flowing. And at a petite 5¼" x 8⅜", it’s the perfect size to carry along while you’re on the go. (Patterns not included.)


    Yoko Saito through the Years

    This in-depth look at Yoko Saito’s quilts and quilted bags celebrates 40 years of her illustrious career. Each piece is featured in photography that reveals the tiny stitches, the subtle hues, and the surprising details that make her work a joy to study. Marvel at hundreds of fabrics, thousands of embroidery stitches, and Ms. Saito’s stunning appliqué—all sewn to perfection. This keepsake book offers a rare opportunity to explore the history of a legendary artist. (Patterns not included.)

    American Quilt Treasures: Historic Quilts from the International Quilt Study Center and Museum

    Take a fascinating journey through a curated collection of quilts housed at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum, the largest publicly held quilt collection in the world. The museum graciously allowed Martingale to photograph 65 one-of-a-kind quilts, ranging from just 30 years old to an incredible 197 years old. You’ll be captivated by the creativity and persistence of quilters from the past—and discover the enduring impact that quilts of yesteryear have on quiltmakers of today. (Patterns not included.)

    Minick and Simpson Blue & White: Living with Textiles You Love

    In this hardcover volume you’ll pore over page after page of breathtaking room settings, all in calming blues and crisp whites. Polly Minick and Laurie Simpson invite readers to explore their inspiring collections, from quilts and hooked rugs to darling antiques. Enjoy three different homes featuring Americana, coastal, and classic styles, while you discover delightful decorating ideas and loads of tips for creating a two-color look. (Patterns not included.)

    A Common Thread: A Collection of Quilts by Gwen Marston

    Got quilting BFF’s who love to quilt their own way? Don’t miss the opportunity to WOW them with this in-depth look at the work of Gwen Marston. The book chronicles five decades of Gwen’s fascinating career, from her beginnings as a traditional quilter to her “liberated” quilt era and beyond. This magnificently photographed collection of more than 65 quilts—curated by Gwen herself—invites readers to enjoy her journey, her artistry, and her process like never before. (Patterns not included.)

    Stitches to Savor: A Celebration of Designs by Sue Spargo

    If you know someone captivated by color, texture, whimsy, creativity—and of course, quilts!—they’ll fall in love with this coffee-table book. From embellished leaves and fanciful birds to extravagant blooms, 200 lush, color-splashed photographs capture the pure magic that Sue Spargo makes with needle and thread. Sue’s work will summon creativity, light up inspiration, and delight anyone who dreams of making more time to stitch. (Patterns not included.)

    Of course you’ll want to make your wrapping as special as your gift—and these pretty gift tags are our gift to you! Simply download, print, cut out, and add names.

    Download your free printable Christmas gift tags here!

    Christmas Eve predictions: will you still be sewing, still be wrapping, or will you be peacefully sleeping? Tell us in the comments!

    24 comments (read all)

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  8. NEW: Country Threads’ Civil War quilt patterns – and the stories of Civil War heroines

    Create spectacular Civil War–style quilts and read stories of the amazing women from this time in history. The best-selling design team of Country Threads—Mary Etherington and Connie Tesene—will introduce you to them in A Country’s Call.

    Reach back in time and visit 14 heroines of the Civil War. Then, create an array of beautiful quilts inspired by the stories of these courageous women. From a simple string quilt:

    First Lessons

    To a small beauty that’s perfect for beginning paper piecers:

    Noble Cause

    To spectacular scrap quilts bursting with hundreds of fabrics:

    Crazy Like a Fox

    Each project in A Country’s Call captures the distinct look of antique quilts from the era.

    Rounding out this beautiful book are authentic photos and true accounts of Civil War history that will draw in quilters and Civil War buffs alike.

    The story of Annie Lorinda Blair Etheridge . . .

    Inspired this Daughters of the Regiment quilt.

    For a historical perspective of women who lived during the Civil War, Mary and Connie invited historian Tanya Tullos to write the introduction to the book. She has a PhD in Educational Curriculum and Instruction at Texas A&M University. Here’s a fascinating excerpt from that introduction:

    “In the years leading up to and through the Civil War in the United States, women worked hard to defend and support their families, to fight for the causes they believed in, and to convince others of the rightness of their own beliefs. Much of what is known about women’s lives, work, and efforts during these times is the result of passionate letters, diaries carefully describing people and events, newspapers that tell of current events, and official records of wartime service. With no telephones, no email, and no instant notifications, news often took days or weeks to filter throughout the nation. Letters, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, and other treasured documents were often saved, just as scraps of cloth and locks of hair were preserved.

    Few suspected that the war between the States would last for years. Men, women, and children suffered during the war and in its aftermath, experiencing hunger, heartbreak, and even death. The women especially took on new roles, including soldiering, nursing, spying, farming, and working outside their homes, while trying to get through the war years.

    It is not the war itself that we treasure; it is the great courage, persistence, and commitment of these women to those things that they held dear. By reaching out to the past, hopefully we can be more prepared to work for a better present in our own lives and for a better future for all.”

    More from A Country’s Call

    The women celebrated in A Country’s Call are captivating, as are the 14 quilt designs. To enter to win a copy of the book, tell us in the comments:

    A mother, a sister, a grandmother, a friend: is there a woman in your life who has inspired you?

    We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. And if you’d like to read more of the stories from A Country’s Call—and start making one of Country Threads’ gorgeous quilts!—you can purchase the book at our website and we’ll send you a link to download the eBook version for free.

    Comments are closed for this post.

    Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The winner will be drawn on Monday 12/2/19.

    250 comments (read all)

  9. Welcome home! 🏡 All-new house projects to build with Yoko Saito (+ giveaway!)

    Japanese master quilter Yoko Saito returns with an all-new collection of house projects to build and enjoy!

    In Yoko Saito’s I Love Houses, 20 bags, totes, purses, pouches, wall quilts, and more celebrate two sides of Ms. Saito’s work—her traditional patchwork roots and her fanciful appliqué creations.

    City Skyline

    Create a city skyline, construct a tiny town, stitch and frame single dwellings, or appliqué a giant mushroom house owned by two little ladybugs—so many fresh ideas to savor.

    Zippered Sewing Case

    In the introduction to the book, Ms. Saito explains her love of the time-honored house motif:

    “If I were asked what motif I would never tire of making in my life, I would have to say house blocks and appliqués. I think that many who do patchwork and quilting love houses as well. Designing these houses out of fabric is almost like building a real house.

    In my first book on this subject, Houses, Houses, Houses, which was published more than 10 years ago, most of the houses were modeled after houses that I consider American in style. Perhaps this is because I was first introduced to quilts in America, and that is where I had spent the most time traveling. However, in the last decade I have had the opportunity to go to mainland Europe and the Scandinavian countries quite often. I began to notice the different styles of the houses in this different climate and culture and how they were designed and built.

    Everyday Handbag

    As I visited various cities, towns, and villages, I rarely saw two houses with the same design. In fact, the shapes, colors, number of doors and windows, and the roof lines were often completely different. Perhaps this is a reflection of a culture that honors the tradition of handicrafts.”

    Boston Bag

    Ms. Saito clearly feels right at home with houses—they reflect the warmth of the world around us. Tell us: What kind of houses would you build in fabric?

    • Houses in the city: that’s where all the fun is!
    • Houses in the country: I prefer a relaxed pace.
    • A version of my neighborhood, using Ms. Saito’s designs as my muse.

    Leave a comment to be automatically entered into our random drawing to win a copy of Yoko Saito’s I Love Houses! We’ll choose a winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck!

    Comments are closed for this post.

    Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The winner is Annie Flaherty who says:

    “These are the nicest bags I have seen in a long time. Can’t wait to make some of them!”

    Ready to start your fabric houses asap? Purchase Yoko Saito’s I Love Houses at our website and we’ll pop your “building plans” in the mail to you!We’ll email you about your prize, Annie—congratulations!

    470 comments (read all)

  10. New Hexagon 2 Book Tour – With Katja Marek (+ giveaway!)

    Are you ready? Have you been chomping at the bit for author Katja Marek’s next quilt-along to begin? If you’re like us here at Stitch This!, the answer is YES! And you’ve come to the right place to get ready for it. While her Quilt-Along begins in January, we’re kicking off Katja’s Instagram Book Tour here on our blog AND on our Instagram page.

    As with her other books, Katja has named the block designs for people she knows. This time is no different. And this time I, Karen Soltys along with Karen Johnson, are beyond excited because The New Hexagon 2 book tour is starting today with the Karen block (page 28 in your book).

    Both Karen Johnson and I enjoy English paper piecing, but I have to admit—I didn’t get hooked until Katja’s first book, The New Hexagon, came along. Katja came to Martingale to work on a hands-on photo shoot to show how to English paper piece. When I watched her work, I realized the whole process was much less daunting that I thought it would be. I decided to try it myself. It was fun and, well, addicting. I was hooked! And I have a box of paper-pieced blocks to prove it. So even if you’ve never tried English paper piecing, I encourage you to give it a try. Because you’re working on a foundation, the pieces fit together precisely and pretty much effortlessly.

    One thing you’ll notice right away in The New Hexagon 2 is that it’s packed with colorful block images, many made in beautiful shades of cool blues and greens. Katja frequently uses tonal prints and batiks for her blocks, to make her blocks and quilts so striking. But personally, I prefer to muddy things up with reproduction fabrics or deeper, darker shades. And just to show you that no two Karens are alike, we thought it would be fun to share how different our blocks look from one another and from Katja’s original. Karen Johnson’s block is bright and cheerful with summery melon colors. It’s downright mouthwatering! I can’t wait to see what she stitches next.

    Original block by Katja

    Block by Karen Soltys

    Block by Karen Johnson

    So whatever your favorite color palette is, don’t be afraid to jump in. Glue baste or thread baste, go dark, go light, go bright. Just go! Get started. And be sure to visit all the other participants along the way for yet another awesome Katja Marek event to celebrate the release of The New Hexagon 2!

    We have a giveaway in progress!  Hop over to our Monday post to read all about the book and enter.


    Visit Katja’s blog: katjasquiltshoppe.com

    Follow Katja on Instagram • Follow Katja on Facebook

    26 comments (read all)